Ubuntu, open source apps use on the rise: Linux Users Group

The open source OS has graduated from the open source community into mainstream industry use, Sydney Linux Users Group says

Ubuntu is breaking out from the Linux community into wider mainstream use in Australia, with schools and government agencies leading the charge, according to the Sydney Linux Users Group (SLUG).

SLUG secretary, Melissa Draper, attributed the growing recognition of the Linux-based operating system to its relative ease of use and acceptance among business users.

“I’m noticing Ubuntu gradually gaining acceptance as a desktop environment with more and more enterprise-sized companies, government departments and non-profit agencies adopting it as an acknowledge part of their networks,” she said.

“I am aware of several such institutions which are gradually allowing staff to choose Linux as an option for their work environment if they feel comfortable administering it themselves, and it’s the staff themselves choosing Ubuntu.

“… The majority of computer users just need to be able to type up a report, send an email, read blogs, and watch funny cat videos on YouTube.”

Draper also attributed the increasing use of Ubuntu in more educational institutions, government agencies and businesses to its affordability.

“Independent schools and IT-based government departments are leading the way with Ubuntu uptake, though small businesses are turning to it to avoid unnecessary costs,” she said.

“ … From students who are making the use of the cost savings, to their relatives and friends who just want to avoid ‘fun’ times with the various malicious Windows-targetting gotchas that the internet is rampant with, right the way up to CTOs of corporations eager to make the most of their budgets and keep their CFOs happy.”

Her comments follow the release of Ubuntu 10.10 ‘Maverick Meerkat’, which has been upgraded and improved upon to make the operating system more consumer-friendly and easier to use.

Some of the main changes to Ubuntu 10.10 include the overhaul of the Netbook Edition’s interface, dubbed the ‘Unity interface’; easy streaming and synchronisation of music and contacts from the Ubuntu One cloud to Windows PCs, Android mobile phones and iPhones; and a better organised Software Centre.

Further, for the past number of Ubuntu releases, developers had put in a lot of effort to rectify “papercuts”, which are easily fixable usability bugs found in the default installation of Ubuntu, Draper said.

Draper added that Ubuntu and other Linux-based software were becoming more widely accepted thanks to the hard work of developers, rather than open source and 'free software' advocates such as Richard Stallman.

“People still align the idea of obsessive geek with the notions of open source, free software and Linux. Stallman is a true example of this; someone who is in a state of bloody-minded principled obsessiveness," she said.

"He is the stereotype that is scaring the diverse potential user-base away. He is an extremely poor representative of the general Free/Libre/Open Source/Software (FLOSS) movement.”

She said although Stallman’s advocacy had done much for the open source community, some open source and free software pioneers, such as Stallman, had lost touch with the state of the industry and how it worked today.

“He’s not really saying anything new and I don’t believe that his actions today matter much beyond the sentimental value of the foundations his visions unarguably laid down 25 years ago,” Draper said.

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Deepak B Jacob


RMS is the finest representative for Free Software

I disagree with the author (Diana Nguyen) of this article on the point regarding RMS (Richard Stallman).

He continues to be the finest representative of all the Free Software ideals. Yes, he is idealistic and stubborn; but these idealistic goals are required to bring the success that FSF enjoys today. You need to set high standards for the community and doggedly pursue it to reach the ideals as close as you can.

I would not want anybody else leading the FSF movement; nor can you show me a better example.

I would not listen to anybody who proclaims using proprietary components are ok. Having said that, I admit still using proprietary software despite knowing that this is to be avoided. But I do know the dangers of continuing to depend on proprietary software for my data and knowledge; because of people like RMS and their "bloody-minded principled obsessiveness".

Perhaps you may want to check with the Open Source Camp who have different ideals; and this may be ok by their book.

RMS is not saying anything new; because the definition of Freedom remains the same; and freedom should never be compromised for convenience or the latest trends!!!



Agreed Deepak

I find that a lot of people see RMS as an eccentric and fail to see his importance to the Free Software movement. Some may argue but there would be no Free Software Foundation (or gcc or Linux or Handbrake or Notepad++ ..........) without RMS. RMS deserves respect for his accomplishments not condescending remarks from no-name reporters. The author should not use the FOSS movement to further her career and then criticize the father of that movement.

Happy Hacking!



Article riddled with inconsistency and logical fallacies.

This is the same kind of argument that climate skeptics use against speakers who talk about climate change: "If you cared so much why do you fly to give talks so much?" "Why is your tour bus diesel engine currently running and powering your presentation setup?".

These are logical fallacies. What the person says has nothing to do with their own actions, their actions are separate and in a utilitarian sense they have to do these things to spread their message.

We saw this tactic used before in the US elections as well, it is a logical fallacy and stop using it. Just because RMS doesn't code anymore doesn't make him irrelevant, just like how a general who doesn't pick up a firearm is not irrelevant.



The first three commenters are laughable.

Saying that Stallman is relevant because he did stuff once does not change the fact that acceptance is happening because the tools are becoming functional, rather than because a smelly man waxes lyrical to his fanclub and tells rooms full of men to take the virginity of women by making them use emacs.

That certainly is not "fine" representation, and if you think so then you unwittingly wish harm upon what he represents.

Patrick EB


Berner-Lee warns against Facebook.

RMS is as prescient as ever.

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